Cruise ship passenger defies US intervention for coronavirus quarantine: ‘Stay out of it’

coronavirus quarantine matthew smith cruise ship
American Matthew Smith, who’s a passenger on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, says he won’t leave the ship despite the U.S. plan to evacuate Americans because he’s worried the move could spread the coronavirus. (screenshot)

An American passenger aboard a cruise ship that’s quarantined off the coast of Japan due to a coronavirus outbreak disagrees with the U.S. intervention plan to evacuate Americans off the ship.

Matthew Smith, who’s quarantined with his wife, is staying on the ship and says other Americans should also in order to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread to innocent people.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 69,000 people globally (mostly in mainland China). The death toll now tops 1,669.

Smith and his wife have been quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess since Feb. 5, when the vessel docked in Yokohama harbor. Both Smith and his wife are healthy and are not affected by the virus so far.

However, 335 people on the ship have been diagnosed with the coronavirus — making the Diamond Princess the single largest outbreak outside of China.

Amid American complaints to U.S. authorities, the State Department agreed to evacuate 400 Americans off the ship and fly them to Travis Air Force Base in California, where they will be quarantined again and undergo additional testing.

Smith said that’s a terrible decision because it could lead to the spread of the virus to the United States. Smith said the State Department should not have defied the quarantine established by Japanese health officials.

“I tweeted days ago I wanted the government to stay out of it,” Smith told Neil Cavuto on the Fox News show, “Cavuto Live.”

“Our greatest desire at this point is to maintain the quarantine that the Japanese health officials have established. Then get a test for the virus at the end of that quarantine so we can establish with relative certainty that we are not infected and be free to go.

Unfortunately, the State Department has thrown a monkey wrench into that.”

Smith continued:  “I understand [wanting to get] off the ship to be in another space. But under this circumstance, the offer is, ‘We’re going to put you on buses with other people who haven’t completed their quarantines and have not been tested for the virus. We’re going to then put you on a plane with all these people and take you back to the United States, and because of the risk you still pose due to that situation we’re going to stick you in another quarantine.’”


(Source: Cavuto Live)

Smith said he prefers to stay aboard the Diamond Princess ship so he’s not a potential threat to others. He also downplayed complaints about the living conditions on the cruise ship.

“We have access to the balcony,” he said. “We are fed well – three times a day, along with excess food. They provide all the necessities we need in there.”

Smith added that “we can go outside for fresh air and sunshine whenever we like.”

Smith said he understands that people get “cabin fever” from being confined and admitted that his wife has been “depressed” about the quarantine. However, he says the quarantine is critical to containing the coronavirus outbreak, and he wishes the State Department would butt out.

Obama waited until millions of Americans were infected with swine flu before acting

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